Monday, 7 January 2013

Hoarders Anonymous

Hi, my name's Teagan and I'm a hoarder. I've been hoarding for over 22 years now.

Very dramatic but true. I'm a fourth generation hoarder. I come from a family of squirrels. It's pathological. It's genetic. It's... taking up alot of space.

When my parents separated when I was 15, every return trip I made back home to Dad's I would do my best to throw out whatever random crap I could find and reduce the clutter by one cardboard box each trip. It took many visits home but eventually I cut back the amount of stuff I had down to 3 cardboard boxes and one large toy chest. A vast improvement from having one entire wall obscured by cardboard boxes.

In Katherine everything I own is packed away in boxes. It can't be helped. I have no permanent address.

But what's my excuse for all the random boxes in Wudinna? A collection of odds and sods from 2000 right through to 2006 when I started permanently living in the Territory. Time for a reduction!

First off I had to find all my stuff. Some of it was in storage at what is now my brother's flat but previously a neglected section of the motel. Some of it was in Mum's flat, hidden amongst all her crap which she lacks time and drive to go through. And some of it was in the garage which can barely fit Peter's scooter let alone the car.

My brother and I worked together to get all my stuff out of his space, which was formally the women's latrines for what was once the original restaurant and bar of the motel, and put all his stuff back in there again. While we were at it we ripped out the old toilets. No one's gonna pee in them or have peed in them for at least 20 years so why not?

Getting all my stuff out the garage ruffled someones feathers. Nevermind that, with my stuff removed, theirs got put onto a shelf rather than continue to sit on the floor.

Bit by bit, day by day I poked through it coming across little surprises of "Wow, I remember this!" and "WTF do I have this for?". By the end of it all I had thrown out two heavy duty garbage bags of rubbish, put together a box of things that will go into our garage sale for whenever the rest of my family decide to sort out their stuff and compiled another box of mostly writing paper, notebooks, scrapbooking magazines and other random things that Mum and my sister-in-law might like or use.

Parked up in the big, recently built, already chock-a-block shed is my four-wheeled baby, Faith, my 1979 Ford Escort panel van. Right in the back corner she is, where I can't drive her out to enjoy her 3.5 cylinders sideways. Her completely original body marred with a latch bolt on the back doors, roof racks and random hooks pot-riveted to her internal framework, albeit the weaker bits. Someone at some point forgot to let the handyman know that it is still my car. My precious baby now needs some love with a small angle grinder and some putty and paint.

Taking back possession of my little baby, I pulled odds and ends out of random places where I never knew things could be stored, all the while swearing and cussing and grumbling every bad word under the sun. I swept out the back and tidied up a few old cobwebs.

Time for the final cleansing. One box at a time I put everything I owned into the back of her, neatly stacking it for the day I settle down. All loaded and ready to go, all she needs now is my single bed to be strapped onto her roof racks, a large tarp to be tied over her and to be loaded on to a car trailer ready to be towed to wherever I finally find to spend the rest of my life, wherever I live long enough to start hoarding a new life.
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Mum's clutter.
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Peter's clutter.
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My brother and his partner's clutter.
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Oh, look! There she is! Behind all the clutter.

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